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About The Production Design
Directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon knew exactly how they wanted the film to look and knew exactly who to hire to deliver it for them—Adam Stockhausen, who was the art director on "Synecdoche, New York” and the supervising art director on "The Darjeeling Limited.”

Adam Stockhausen gladly accepted the production designer assignment to create the visual look and tone of the film—the world in which the characters live. "The process came together very quickly,” says Stockhausen. "We had only about seven weeks. We started out broadly and then got specific… How did we want to portray the character and how did we want to see New York City…and how has New York City been seen in other movies, both a long time ago and very recently. And what did the directors like and what did they not like, and again it started with broad images and then we narrowed it down.”

Stockhausen started with Kassie's world and what her spaces were going to feel like. "What did she do for a living and what kind of a place would she have at the various stages in her life that we see her? The first thing we hit upon was this apartment on the Upper West Side for when she comes back after seven or eight years in the story,” he says. "We locked in on that and said this is her space and that influenced everything else. Kassie's first apartment was a younger place, a hipper place, more of a loft with an open space plan, rougher around the edges. Then she moves later into a more finished space.”

Finding Wally's space meant focusing on his work environment. "Jason's space keyed off his office, really,” explains Stockhausen. "Will and Josh wanted it to be Park Avenue, midtown financial as opposed to lower Manhattan, and that gave an international style in his office that kind of carried into his home life. His apartment has clean lines, large windows, a lot of repeated windows…more straight-edged and modern as opposed to Kassie's places which have a richness, depth and softness that his place never did.”

"For Leonard's place, we looked at all kinds of different spaces,” Stockhausen continues. "The thing that seemed important in talking to Will and Josh about it is that Leonard is a one-of-a-kind sort of guy, so it really had to be a one-of-a-kind sort of space. We looked at all kinds of styles and architecture and we ended up at this townhouse in the Village. It is a beautiful, stunning, incredible house that had been renovated in a very special and careful way. It allowed for us to do these great scenes with Leonard in the window above and Wally down on the street yelling up at him with this white grand piano right behind him, and then a kitchen when Wally comes over to see him in the middle of the night. It was a ‘kitchen table' scene but again in a one-of-a-kind beautifully redone brownstone kitchen with a little terrace outside and a garden in back and it was an incredible space that none of the other characters had.”

Stockhausen continues explaining his process. "We looked at a lot of imagery, a lot of films from the '70s and how those films and photographers from that time looked at the city. Then we looked at newer films and newer photography and we felt that lately we've been seeing a lot of romantic, downtown Village scenes. What we hadn't seen lately was Park Avenue, the modern, streamlined, glassand- steel Manhattan which had been very popular in the past. There's a new building boom going on, and Josh was interested in seeing them and staying away from the tree-lined gorgeous Magnolia Bakery West Village kind of thing.”


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